The AK-47 is an assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union in 1940s. The AR-15 is an assault rifle designed by Eugene Stoner in the U.S. in the 1950s. AR-15s are lighter and have a higher accuracy than AK-47s, while the AK-47 is considerably cheaper and more dependable as compared to the AR-15. Both are extensively used by the military, the police as well as for general purpose as hunting rifles or for self defense.
AK-47 has a lower accuracy than AR-15. The accuracy of an AK-47 (16" barrel) is 2-5 MOA, while the AR-15 (16" barrel) is around 1-3 MOA depending on barrel installed and fore end provisions for barrel float that eliminate deflections caused by the operator's support and/or sling tension.
The use of an AK-47 is restricted in the US. According to the World Bank,out of the 500 million total firearms available worldwide, 100 million are of the Kalashnikov family, and 75 million are AK-47s.
For AR-15 no federal restrictions on ownership exist in the US. However, some states have put some restrictions in place. New York, California, Maryland and Connecticut regulate possession of AR-15 rifles either by the restriction of certain features or outright bans of certain manufacturers' models. For example, the A3 tactical carbine is legal for sale and possession in the United States generally, but is illegal for sale in California.
edit Design Comparison
The AK-47 uses 7.62x39mm M45 cartridges, while the AR-15 uses .233 Remington or 5.56 NATO cartridges.
The AK-47 has a barrel length of 415 mm, while the AR-15 has a standard barrel length of 508 mm.
edit Action Type
The AK-47 is a gas-operated, rotating bolt (Long Stroke Gas Piston) rifle. The AR-15 is a direct impingement or a rotating bolt rifle.
The AK-47’s magazine features a pronounced curve that allows it to smoothly feed ammunition into the chamber. It has a heavy steel construction with “feed lips” to make it resistant to damage.
As the AR-15 was designed to be more lightweight and less durable, its magazine is made of pressed/stamped aluminum, and its feed lips are weaker than the AK-47’s as a result.
Ranging between 2.27 and 3.9kg, the AR-15 is lighter than the 4.3kg AK-47.
The safety (selector) of an AK-47 is designed to be easily hit with the index finger while the middle finger remains on the trigger. Magazines are inserted and removed by a simple rocking motion. The AK-47 is extremely friendly to left handed users in terms of controls and ejection.
AR-15's safety (selector) switch is easily manipulated without losing sight picture. It's smaller size makes it more difficult to use under stress. The AR-15 is unfriendly to left handed users both in terms of controls and in terms of shell ejection.
edit Effective Range
A fully automatic AK-47 has an effective range of 300 meters (330 yd) whereas for a semi-automatic it is 400 metres (440 yd) semi-automatic.
The semi-automatic AR-15 has an effective range of 400-600 meters.
edit Recoil Type
In the AK-47 fully automatic, the recoil is mild and predictable.
In the AR-15, the recoil is easily controllable, but difficult to predict.
The AK-47 is considered more dependable when compared to the AR-15. The AK-47 functions well under any conditions. The AR-15 is sometimes prone to failure when exposed to dirt, dust, and mud and hence needs to be cleaned thoroughly after each use.
edit Prices of Guns
Although many variants are available for both the rifles, when comparing the base models, the AK-47 is cheaper as compared to AR-15.
Price of the AK-47 can range from $350-$600.
Price of the AR-15 can range from $750-$1,500.